Saru drags its feet on naming of selectors
In today’s professionalised game of rugby, the Springbok coach, his assistant coaches and the director of rugby must choose the national group and final 23-man squad for tests.
This was Nick Mallett’s response to City Press stablemate Rapport this week when asked about his availability if the SA Rugby Union (Saru) considered him a suitable candidate as a national selector.
“I probably will not be available for this reason and also because I have limited time,” said the former South Africa and Italy coach.
Rapport can confirm that an announcement by Saru about who the national selectors will be in 2016 should not be expected soon, following its executive committee meeting about the issue this week.
It is even possible that no appointment will be made before the end of March, which means that until then and during the Super series South Africa will be without selectors.
This comes after Saru sent letters to selection committee members Ian McIntosh and Peter Jooste, confirming their appointments expired after the World Cup. Saru also asked its presidents this month to nominate suitable candidates as selectors.
“The high-performance committee this week prepared proposals in several areas to be submitted to the executive for its consideration in its coming meeting,” a Saru spokesman said. “The executive has the power to appoint national selectors, but the appointment of the coach must be ratified by the general council.”
Saru has confirmed that the general council – comprising, among others, presidents and CEOs of its 14 unions – will meet on April 1.
Committee members are Kevin de Klerk, James Stoffberg, Francois Davids and Pat Kuhn.
The Saru spokesman added that the executive committee could meet earlier if it considered the appointment of selectors an urgent matter.
Along with Mallett, another former Springbok, Brendan Venter, has been tipped as a possible suitable candidate.
However, like Mallett, Venter has voiced uncertainty about his availability if he were considered.
“I would first have to know what it involves,” said the doctor from his home in the Strand, Cape Town.
“I am now in full-time practice.”
The committee would also make recommendations this week on Heyneke Meyer’s successor as coach.
It is still expected that Allister Coetzee will be appointed as the Boks’ coach until after the 2019 World Cup in Japan, with Johann van Graan having already been appointed as a member of the management team.
Rassie Erasmus and members of his mobile unit at Saru, like Jacques Nienaber, will continue to play an important role.
Erasmus was asked by Saru’s general council in December to handle all the responsibilities of the Bok coach in the interim until an appointment is made.
It is also expected that he could be appointed as interim coach for the tests against Ireland, and some presidents regard him as a suitable candidate to be Meyer’s successor.
NO THANKS Former Bok coach Nick Mallett has ruled himself out as a candidate for national selector